King’s students living in the Champion Hill Residence will be moved the Hilton London Metropole in Paddington, according to an email from the university.
The move comes after the university announced that residents of the Beech, Maple, Oak, and Rowan blocks of the Champion Hill Residences would be relocated by the end of the month as a result of newly discovered yet unspecified fire hazard concerns.
According to the Hilton website, lower-end rooms at the hotel typically go for approximately £130 a night.
King’s sent the email to Champion Hill residents on Monday. The students will each be provided three weeks worth of their usual rent as compensation, as well as £15 per day in spending money for food until the end of their contracts. They will each be allocated either a double or twin en-suite room for their personal use and will have access to daily free breakfast, free laundry utilities, housekeeping, and free access to the hotel’s other facilities, including study areas, a gym, and a pool.
When Champion Hill residents first received the news of their relocation earlier in the month, many were surprised and unsure of how to proceed. Roar has reached out to some students being moved to the Hilton, and the general reaction now seems positive.
Hannah Gold, a Classics student, is “completely happy with the room and the compensation”, saying it was more than she was expecting. Similarly, Meriam Holmstrom, a King’s Law student, says she is “actually quite excited about the move. I’ll be closer to the campus and King’s has addressed all our concerns about meals, laundry et cetera”. Another student, who preferred to remain anonymous, is “totally fine with the reallocation, since the location is great and, let’s be honest, we get better quality accommodation for a very cheap price, so no complaints whatsoever. The compensation is also pretty open-handed, taking into account how expensive it is to reallocate a bunch of students to a hotel”.
Some Champion Hill residents have slight concerns, however. Sigrid Leivsdottir, an International Relations student at King’s, says the thing she’s most annoyed at is “is the fact that we don’t have a kitchen. […] We’re forced to buy cheap food, either take-away or eat at restaurants. […] The kitchen is the thing that stresses me out the most since I love to cook and I like to know exactly what’s in the food that I’m eating. All in all, it’s a crazy and surreal situation that we’re in. It’s stressful for them and for us. It was obviously a hard decision to make. I think they tackled the situation alright”.
According to a member of the King’s Residences team who did not want to be named, approximately 500-600 Champion Hill residents will be relocated as a result of the fire hazards.
Roar has calculated that King’s will be spending an estimated minimum of £1,509,750 on the relocated students.
This is assuming that 550 residents will be moved to the Hilton, and taking into account only the daily food stipend and compensation (using Champion Hill’s en-suite rate of £215 a week). It does not take into account any additional costs King’s may face in moving so many students into a hotel, including but not limited to surplus rent that will need to be paid by the university. Roar is currently attempting to confirm the figures with the King’s Information Office.